Is it ever too late to say
“Happy New Year”?

Every year, millions of people wish each other a happy New Year, and this year is bound to be no different. But when is it no longer appropriate?

Is it ever too late to say “Happy New Year”?

Dear readers,

Hopefully you will have all eased into 2023 without a hitch. As is customary this time of year, we would like to wish you good health and all the best for the year to come. May it be a year full of joy and happiness.

While we may not be the first to wish you all the best, we surely won’t be the last.

But should we ever stop wishing one another a happy New Year – even if we mean well by it?

It’s always nice to say a few words at New Year to get the year off to a good start on a positive note. Every year without fail, we wish all of our neighbours, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, customers, etc. “Happy New Year”.

According to good etiquette, this is exactly what we should be doing – New Year wishes are important. Better too much than too little, as the saying goes. But when is enough enough? While there’s no official cut-off date for wishing someone a happy New Year, the various rule books say that we should only do so when appropriate. But for how long is it “appropriate”?

According to our research, people tend to wish each other a happy New Year in the first ten or so days of January – unless they are well-acquainted on a business or personal level. Those who first encounter one another after these ten or so days can quite easily carry on saying “Happy New Year” right up until the end of January or even later. Those who are less well-acquainted, on the other hand, should avoid giving out new year wishes late on.

Basically, it all boils down to the type of relationship you have with the person you are greeting. If you are late in wishing people you do business with a happy New Year, you should choose your words carefully to lead up to it. For example, greet a business partner or customer by saying, “We might be well into the new year, but I hope it’s not too late to wish you a happy New year.” Or simply avoid it completely by saying, “I hope your new year got off to a good start.”

Most rules of etiquette generally don’t stipulate when to wish someone a happy New Year. It’s best if you judge for yourself based on your relationship with the person you are greeting. Luckily, your gut feeling is often a good indicator.

And since it’s only 5 January, our gut feeling tells us that it’s safe for us to say “Happy New Year” again.

Do you have any questions or are you interested in working with us?

I would be happy to answer your questions or introduce you to Apostroph Group and our services in a personal meeting.
Nadia Gaille
Head of Customer Success

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